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The Caritas Award Honouree - The Catholic Health Association of Manitoba

Through the ministries of education, healthcare ethics, spiritual care, Catholic ownership and social justice, CHAM fulfills its mission of compassion concern and respect for all persons. It strives to promote leadership, collaboration, and sensitivities in the evolving health care services offered to the people of Manitoba.


Service Award Honourees – André Blondeau
André Blondeau, a longtime Board Member and Treasurer of the Catholic Foundation of Manitoba will be recognized for his support of Catholic values in the community.


Charity of Choice 2019 – Holy Names House of Peace

Holy Names House of Peace, provides a safe home for women in transition, a sacred place for prayer, and reflection space for organizations promoting justice, peace and understanding. There will be a 50/50 style draw at the Dinner. The proceeds will be disbursed to the draw winner, Charity of Choice and the Catholic Foundation of Manitoba.

Key Note Speaker - Dr. Puchalski

Dr. Puchalski, Professor of Medicine, is the Founder and Director
of GWish at the George Washington University. She is a pioneer and international
leader in the movement to integrate spirituality into healthcare in clinical settings and
medical education.




The Caritas Award Honouree and Key note Speaker – Joy Smith
Joy Smith is a leading advocate against human trafficking worldwide, and a champion of women’s rights. Her faith in God is what motivates her. “I’ve always called upon God to give me direction on what to do.  My faith and my God are everything to me.”  Joy often references faith and God’s calling as what motivated her to pursue politics to help human trafficking victims.


Service Award Honourees – Carol Peloquin, sngm and Bo Gajda
Carol Peloquin, snjm.  After many years of teaching and being a foster mother for several Aboriginal girls at Meegwech House, Sr. Carol has dedicated the last 28 years to prison ministry at Stony Mountain, Rockwood Institution, and the Future Hope organization that supports Released Offenders to reintegrate back into the community.


Bo Gajda is a retired prison chaplain with over 16 years of experience within Manitoba federal medium and minimum-security institutions. Bo seeks opportunities and situations that contribute to and support respect and dignity for all people and promote essential peace building efforts. He is currently involved with the Circles of Support and Accountability Winnipeg, Future Hope and the Manitoba Catholic Tri-diocesan Prison Ministry committee.


Charity of Choice 2019 – Future Hope

Future Hope is dedicated to helping male ex-offenders rebuild their lives, one step at a time, in their transition from prison and parole to “normal life” back in the community. There will be a 40/30/30 draw at the Dinner.  The proceeds will be disbursed to the draw winner, Charity of Choice and the Joy Smith Foundation.



The Caritas Award Honouree – Centre Flavie-Laurent Inc

Centre Flavie-Laurent distributes at no cost, furniture, household items and clothing to people in need. They sort, store and distribute the goods and the clothing received from donors to help the impoverished in Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba. The strength and mission of the Centre’s work is shown by the service provided to the needy and the concern for the needs and the fate of the poor. Its credibility is rooted in its rich heritage and its founders – the Grey Nuns.


Service Award Honourees – Karin Gordon and Tom Denton

Karin Gordon.  A former radiation technician, she has been involved in helping refugees since 1979 and is the house mom at the ministry’s reception centre, a Scotia neighbourhood six-bedroom home as well as 10-bedroom home at 364 Leila. She’s in charge of resettlement, helping refugees find the best thrift shops, taking them to doctor’s appointments and the like. She has been the one called by Canadian Customs border agents when refugee claimants have managed to walk into Canada. She has personally taken some of them in, fed them, clothed them and assisted them as they apply for formal refugee status.


Tom Denton.   Tom came to Winnipeg almost 50 years ago from the Bar of Alberta, where he was a practicing lawyer, to join a large business enterprise where he served in law and management capacities.  In 1980, he was the founding publisher of the Winnipeg Sun newspaper. He was executive director of Winnipeg’s then settlement agency, the International Centre from 1984 to 2000, and of Hospitality House Refugee Ministry since 2006. In 2016 alone, Hospitality House landed in Canada over 1,100 refugees it had sponsored. Tom has served on many public and volunteer boards and was the first chair of the Manitoba Immigration Council and of the Winnipeg Arts Council.  His involvement with immigration and its issues, on which he consults, speaks and writes frequently, extends over 37 years.  He is a Member of the Order of Manitoba as well as Member of the Order of Canada.


Charity of Choice – Hospitality House Refugee Ministry.

Hospitality House Refugee Ministry is a non-profit organization, and has for many years been Winnipeg's leading sponsor of refugees. Thousands have been sponsored from appalling refugee circumstances, into new hope and productive lives in Canada.

They continue to flood into our city, and while caring families look after many, others must look to the support of Hospitality House to survive their first year here.


The Caritas Award Honouree – Sara Riel Inc.

Sara Riel Inc. provides community-based support to persons who experience issues with mental illness or mental health challenges including substance use, disorders and addictions.  This charitable organization was founded by the Grey Nuns in 1977 and Sister Jean Ell, sgm was ED for its first 20 years of operation.  Sara Riel is known as a best practice in supporting individuals with mental health issues.  Its current ED, Tara Brousseau Snider has years of experience and was also ED of the Mood Disorders Association of MB for over a decade.  This Catholic organization is one of the Réseau Compassion Network’s communities of service.


Service Award Honourees – Sharon Blady

She is the founder of Speak Up: Mental Health Advocate and a former minister of health for Manitoba.  She was the NDP MLA for Kirkfild Park in Winnipeg.  Prior to her time in office, she taught in nursing, social work and Native studies at the U of M.  She is passionate about using her lived experience of mood disorders as part of a vision for growing peer support for increased mental health and well-being.  She is a suicide survivor, a published author, entrepreneur and public speaker.

Charity of Choice – Hospitality House Refugee Ministry.

Artbeat Studio is charitable organization; a mental health consumer initiated, peer directed, and recovery-oriented program.  This community-based studio accommodates artists whose mental health, social connection, and income make it impracticable for them, individually, to acquire a workspace where they might advance their artistic techniques safely and securely.  The artists are supported and mentored in managing their own workplace, production, and marketing within the operating parameters of the studio.